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Solar eclipse enthusiasts in MP disappointed due to bad weather

Bhimbetka (Madhya Pradesh), Wed, 22 Jul 2009 ANI

Bhimbetka (Madhya Pradesh), July 22(ANI): Hundreds of enthusiastic and curious people who had gathered at Bhimbetka in Madhya Pradesh on Wednesday were dejected as bad weather played spoilsport, blocking the view of the longest total solar eclipse of the 21st century.


Astronomers had reckoned Bhimbetka as one of the best places to view and experience the celestial spectacle.


Under the guidance of Gwalior-based Science Centre, a national camp was organised here and hundreds of school children from various part of the country were invited to witness this rare total solar eclipse.


Solar filters, kits and books were distributed among the participants.


Numerous scientists also took part in the camp to witness the rare celestial event, however, their hopes of witnessing the eclipse were dashed when bad weather conditions blocked the view of the unusual spectacle.


Nonetheless, Bhimbetka was plunged into darkness for about three minutes during the period of the eclipse.


Radharaman Das, a scientist, said that huge turnout of eclipse watchers has dispelled the myths associated with the solar eclipse.


"The superstitious beliefs associated with the solar eclipse were completely disproved. Many people have come out of their homes dispelling the myth that watching solar eclipse would harm them. This is the biggest achievement of this camp," said Das.


Eminent scientist and academician Prof. Yashpal also participated in the camp and interacted with the students.


"The children who have come here witnessed a new thing. Although they have already studied as to what happens during the solar eclipse, they knew that the sun would slowly get covered and it would become dark. Though it was cloudy, it became dark and when it got over, it felt like as if someone just lit a fire. It was marvellous," said Prof. Yashpal.


The eclipse began at 5:28 a.m. local time and was there for a maximum of 6 minutes, 39 seconds. (ANI)


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